This week, on Sunday 8th March, we celebrate International Women’s Day. An event that’s been around since the 1900’s, it commemorates women’s achievements worldwide and across all fields, whether that be science, politics, or the arts.
If you’re wondering why anyone still celebrates it (rude, FYI), then the answer is this: the original aim and purpose of International Women’s Day was a bid to achieve full gender equality for women across the globe, an aim that still hasn’t been fully realised. It’s not just a day for recognising the inequalities women continue to face, but also to celebrate the achievements of women who have helped breakdown those barriers.
Trying to whittle down my ultimate ‘Female Faves’ list to share just a few was no easy task. There are so many women in our lives, whether that be your favourite actress, your most loved teacher or simply (but not any less relevantly) your Mum, that inspire us all the daily.
To kick off my Female Faves list, I have to give mention to two young, female activists. Greta Thunberg and Malala Yousafzai, aged 15 and 22 respectively; the impact they have been able to have at such a young age is an almost unimaginable feat. Whilst fighting for somewhat different causes, the outcome they hop for is the same; it’s for the younger generations to be able to have a future with opportunities to become whoever they want to be.
As far as athletes go, when thinking of the ultimate female inspiration, Serena Williams was the first to spring to mind. Having been criticised (by a woman, no less) for dedicating too much time to her baby, her fight for gender equality and standing up for women of colour, Serena has been bold, brave and bountiful in her commitment to publicly calling out what isn’t right. Not only does she juggle a career of which she holds 39 grand slam titles, off the back of all the criticism, she’s vowed to never stop fighting for equality.
Michelle Obama. The ultimate of all ultimate female faves. Her powerful speeches mesmerise the masses and “when they go low, we go high” will be one those quotes you never forget. She’s spent a hell-of-a-lot of time focusing her attention on a number of social issues, one of those being helping working women balance their careers with family life. Reflecting on the #MeToo movement, she spoke candidly about women becoming tired of being disregarded and inspired many by saying that we should all keep fighting for gender equality, even if it makes people uncomfortable. And, I couldn’t agree more.
As a female millennial myself, I couldn’t have a Female Faves list without a social media influencer. Boomers might laugh, but we’d all be lying to ourselves if we said that the people we follow online don’t influence our lives in one way or another. The ultimate girl-power that had to get a mention is Grace Beverley (Grace Fit UK). What makes her one of my ultimate faves is two things: that her gym wear brand is sustainably made with an inclusive size range and that she’s changing the game for women in business and she too is fighting for equality and respect for women in the work place. Oh, and she’s 22.
Image credit: LOVATTO via Flickr